Sunday, July 12

Palestinian stone-thrower killed by Israeli officer was fleeing when shot

A Palestinian youth killed after throwing rocks
at an Israeli officer's vehicle in the West Bank was shot dead after 
fleeing the scene, security camera footage obtained and released by the 
human rights group B'Tselem appears to show.

The officer, Binyamin Brigade commander Col. Yisrael Shomer, has been 
investigated under caution by Military Police.

Mohammad Kosba, a 17-year-old from the Qalandiyah 
refugee camp north of Jerusalem, was shot dead by IDF fire about 10 days
ago after he threw a rock at Shomer's vehicle near the West Bank 
village of Al-Ram.

According to the IDF, after stones were thrown at 
the vehicle Shomer initiated the IDF-sanctioned procedure to arrest 
Kosba, in which it is permissible to shoot at a suspect’s legs.

In the video, soldiers are seen quickly exiting the 
jeep after a rock hit it and broke the windshield, but it does not show 
that the force continued to come under attack after the first rock hit. 
As the soldiers exit the vehicle, Kosba can be seen running in the other

The camera also does not show the shooting itself, but after about 30 
seconds, the soldiers are seen returning to the jeep and driving away. 
According to B’Tselem, Kosba had fled by this time, and was not a danger
to the soldiers.

Kosba was rushed to the hospital in Ramallah where 
he was declared dead. B’Tselem researcher Iyad Hadad, who photographed 
Kosba’s body, said the Palestinian had been hit by three bullets, one in
the face and two in the back. There is no indication of gunshot 
injuries to Kosba’s legs, as shooting a suspect during the process of an
arrest would have produced.

These pictures, together with the security video, 
were handed over to the IDF military police, which is investigating 
Kosba’s death. B’Tselem says that the support given to Shomer by 
politicians and senior IDF officers raise doubts as to whether the 
military can properly investigate the case.

The brief time that elapsed before the soldiers 
returned to the jeep, as well as the photos taken by the researcher, 
raise questions as to whether the procedure for arresting a suspect had 
indeed been followed. B’Tselem says that the soldiers left without 
helping the wounded Palestinian and it regards the incident as a breach 
of IDF orders that require proper medical assistance be rendered to a 
wounded person.

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